Friday, October 20, 2017

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Ah, Fall. I have such mixed feelings about the change of seasons.  Let's see... I really don't like that the days are getting shorter and cooler.  And I am not happy about the rainy days we are having right now either, even if we really need the rain after the unusually hot and dry Summer we enjoyed!  On the other hand, I do love that some of my very favorite things to eat are more readily available and more reasonably price with the onset of the Fall harvest.

One of these favorite things is red peppers!  And when they are on sale at my local market, I buy a huge bagful and always roast some almost immediately. I love them sliced up on salads, and in omelets, on burgers, and especially in home made soups.  Today I am sharing a quick and easy way to put together a lovely one... Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup.

It is just a matter of roasting the peppers and then pureeing them with a can of diced tomatoes.  If you are not sure how to do this, I have included a link to a little tutorial about it in the first recipe instrucion (which also has another delicious soup recipe).  It is so easy... just takes a bit of time.  You can season  your soup with basil and oregano, or leave plain and just add some salt and pepper. As is, it is vegan but if you don't care about that, you can  make it a little fancier and even company-worthy with the addition of a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.  It is truly delicious!

You might enjoy this soup as a first course at dinner, or as your main course at lunch. I have even slurped a bowlful as an afternoon snack.    Yes, the best part about Fall is definitely homemade soup!

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup by @WeCanBegin2Feed


Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Makes 4 servings, approximately 1 cup each

Ingredients:

  • 3 red peppers
  • 1 28-ounce can (798 ml) diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dashed of basil and oregano (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Roast red peppers and allow to cool before removing seeds and skin.
  2. Place the peppers in a large bowl along with the tomatoes.
  3. Puree the veggies with immersion blender and pour into to saucean to heat.
  4. Warm soup to desired temperature over MEDIUM heat on stovetop.
  5. Remove to serving bowls and season.  Garnish as desired.
  6. Leftover soup may be stored in refrigerator for a couple of days or frozen.
1 serving, without garnish
WW SP = 0 (vegetables are 0 SP foods so nothing to count here)
Calories 70
Saturated Fat 0g
Carbohydrates 14.1g
Fibre 3.6g
Sugars 5.1g
Protein 2.6g


Red Peppers on baking sheet
I always make a few extra, for omelets, burgers, salads...  yum!


After seeding and removing the skin.


Season with salt and pepper, and a bit of dried basil and oregano if you like them.


A bit of shredded parmesan cheese adds a lot of flavor and only a few calories.

Are you a fan of roasted red peppers, too?  What is your favorite way to enjoy them?



Friday, June 30, 2017

Berryful Freezer Pops Coming Right Up!

These berryful freezer pops are a perfect treat for Canada Day or the 4th of July celebrations... especially if it is a hot sunny day in your neighborhood.  I first made them a few years ago when I won some new freezer pop molds in a giveaway from spabettie and wanted to try them out with something special and new.  I have used the molds a lot since then, but this recipe is still one of our favorites.  It is a great way to cool down on a hot Summer day.

They do take a few hours to set up so if you can, make them the day before you want to eat them.

These molds hold a total of 3 cups.  If you plan to make some pops for yourself, you will want to measure your molds and then adjust the amounts of the ingredients accordingly.  When I made them, I didn’t put enough water in the food processor, so I just added some more to the mixture once it was in the molds and then stirred it a bit.


Berryful Freezer Pops


Berryful Freezer Pops

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups frozen berry mixture (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • bit of Stevia (this is optional of course)
Instructions:
  1. Place water and berries into a heavy-duty blender and process until smooth and thick.
  2. Pour into freezer pop molds and freeze overnight.
Mine came out to about 23 calories each… and of course they are zero Smart Points for my Weight Watchers buddies. 

Of course you could use any fresh berries that you find in your local markets instead of frozen. I know there are still strawberries and raspberries and blueberries in my area.

How do you celebrate your national holiday?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Oat Scones... I Still Love Them

No matter what new food plan I set out to try, I always come back to an old favorite... tried and true... from Weight Watchers. It has gone through several evolutions, but for many years now, has been called the Simply Filling Technique.

In its simplest form, it involves eating from a comprehensive list of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins including meat and dairy, whole grains, and healthy oils.  It is based on whole, real foods.  Easy. Simple. Nutritious, and yes, filling.  Whole, real food fill you up and keep you satisfied. It is true.

I like the plan as I naturally gravitate to these kinds of foods and like to shop and prepare my meals at home, whether I am going to eat there or pack them along with me to have out.  I am a big fan of park bench and beachside picnics and snacks.

The plan does allow for occasion off-list indulgences, so I can still get in some nut butters and dried fruit, and the occasional glass of wine, too. No deprivation here.

Now, I admit, I don't eat a lot of grains. I prefer to get my carbs from fruits and veggies... I will occasionally eat some rice when I have sushi but for the most part, even quinoa only makes a rare appearance on my plate.... usually when I make a bowl-style lunch.  I cannot recall the last time I cooked oatmeal at breakfast.

But I was looking through some old posts and this recipe for Oat Scones piqued my interest. I had completely forgotten about it.  They really appealed to me, I decided to make them up and add them to my week's menu.  And I am happy to say they were as good as I remember.

I  have learned over the years that weighing dry foods on a scale, rather than measuring with cups is a more accurate way to calculate nutritional values. My original recipe, which you can find here, calls for 1-1/2 cups of oats. The package shows that 40g is equal to 1/2 cup so I weighed out 120g of oats instead of measuring 1-1/2 cups.  When I compare them, the 120g is less for sure.   I also weighed the oat bran.  I used 95g instead of measuring out 1 cup.

Do I need to even mention I use gluten free oats?

And I chose a rectangular cake pan because I currently do not own a pie plate. The cake pan is about 8 inches X 11 inches.  I cooked the scones for 40 minutes and made sure to let them rest for 15 minutes before I cut them into 8 pieces and tested them.  That waiting was hard!

I have been enjoying them all week... my favorite way is to make up a bit of PB2 and slather that all over the top.

Oat Scones by @WeCanBegin2Feed

Nope, PB2 is not part of the Simply Filling Technique... you have to count 1 Smart Point for it.  And nope, I do not usually use a fork to eat it either!

I have since learned that if I cut the scone in half horizontally, it lasts twice as long... and half a scone is actually sometimes all I want!  Imagine.


So, if you follow the Simply Filling Technique, these Oat Scones are a no-count food.  If you top them with something not on the list, just count those Smart Points.  And if you are a Weight Watcher who counts Smart Points, here is the pertinent nutritional information for you.

Per serving of 1 scone or 1/8th recipe
Weight Watchers SP = 4.
Calories 122
Saturated Fat .5g
Sugar 3g
Protein 6g

Is oatmeal part of your food plan?  What is your favorite way to enjoy it?